Amy Tries Again

Things I Do Not Like: Dr Who
July 28, 2010, 11:54 AM
Filed under: Things I Do Not Like | Tags: ,

Please don’t throw rocks at me.  I am aware that many of my esteemed associates are very, very fond indeed of Dr Who, but you know what?  You’re all nerds.  Yep.  I said it.  Thing is, I’m allowed to use the n-word, because I’m one, too.  I’m of the subset drama nerd (sub-subset comedy nerd), but I’m a nerd nonetheless.  And yes, I’m aware that there’s a lot of crossover between scifi nerds and drama nerds, but I’m a one trick pony.  I don’t care for your anime.  I laugh at your Dungeons and Dragons.  I do not give a hoot for Star Wars, Star Trek or Stargate.  I am far too busy doing Silly Walks and imploring people to understand that ‘wherefore’ does not mean ‘where’.  (It means why.  She is asking why on earth he had to be a Montague when everything would be peachy if he were a Smith or a Jones or a Takanawa.)

I digress.  The fact is, I have always regarded Dr Who as the nerdiest of nerdy nerd things.  An alien who flies around in a magic box, assisted by a pretty girl, fighting monsters made from aluminium foil and plasticine?  No thanks.  I was vaguely aware of a man in a scarf after my sister, who does belong to the scifi nerd subset, knitted a replica.  How I laughed!  On the inside, though, Dear Reader, I was crying.  Why?  I was very severely traumatised by Dr Who at a young age.

As far as I remember, sometime in the very late eighties/early nineties Dr Who used to be shown on the ABC at 6pm.  We were only allowed to watch the ABC – and in very small amounts – because my mother is very, very mean, and after Widget the World Watcher or Captain Planet or whatever was on at 5:30 the TV would usually be switched unceremoniously off.  On occasion, however, we happened to be watching after 6pm.  I’m not sure why, perhaps our grandmother was babysitting us (we got to watch sitcoms and eat icecream.  It was awesome!).  Dr Who came on, and while I remember absolutely nothing about the show in general, I do remember very, very clearly that on this occasion he was battling some kind of cactus man.  I was terrified of the cactus man.

To be honest I don't recall the Dr himself being a cactus man, but this image seems pretty relevant.

As the fact that I have found a picture may indicate, I have done some Googling.  Apparently Cactus Man was called Meglos.  He was a baddy.  Obviously.  All I really remember is a man (maybe Dr Who, I don’t know – he would have been just some dude in a scarf to me) changing into Cactus Man in a shower-like chamber.  Needless to say, I had zero interest in taking a shower that night, but I had to anyway.  I was scared of the bathroom in general for a few weeks.  No, I didn’t really think I would turn into Cactus Girl, but I was fearful nonetheless.

That killed any chance Dr Who ever had with me.  In the years that followed I have had very little to do with him.  Some friends of mine, as I said, are quite keen, and in the era of the reboot I’ve been to a Dr Who night of theirs after a special was released online.  He did not have a scarf this time.  He had a leather jacket and he was on a big bus battling sand monsters.  Meh.  It wasn’t torture, some of it was mildly entertaining, but I was the annoying one up the back asking ‘Who’s that?’  ‘Is she bad or good?’  ‘I thought he was dead.’  I just didn’t know enough about the characters, and to be honest, I wasn’t too enthused about finding out more.

But all that is going to change.  In a wonderful bit of cross-promotion, I have been cast in an Impro Mafia show called ‘The Professor: Adventures in Space and Time’  (Sunday, August 22, Brisbane Arts Theatre).  As you may have guessed, it is a Dr Who homage/parody.  If you are a fan of the good Doctor, worry not.  Everyone else in the show would kill for him if necessary.  And then there’s Amy!  Needless to say, I am going to do a bit of research.  Advise me.  Teach me.  Warp my mind.  Then come to see if any of it sinks in.

How should I start my educational journey, dear nerds?


14 Comments so far
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Well obviously that brother of mine would be the #1 source of all information in this regard. HOWEVER.

I can recommend the watching of the following classic ‘who’ episodes :

-Genesis of the Daleks
-Curse of Fenric
-Terror of the Zygons ( only on VHS currently, no DVD I’m afraid )


Comment by Anthony M.

For a start, don’t watch Meglos. It’s not very good.

All the ones Anthony mentioned are tops, particularly ‘Fenric’ and ‘Ghost Light’. In addition to those two, I heartily recommend to Ms Amy Currie the story ‘City of Death’ (written by Douglas Adams) from the old series, and the story ‘Blink’ from the new series.

And look, you really should watch one from the most recent season called ‘Amy’s Choice’. It’s appropriate as well as awesome.

Comment by Dave

I’m going to second ‘City of Death’; it’s very lighthearted and the dialogue is absolutely cracking.

As a jumping on point, I’d strongly suggest ‘Rose’. It was the first episode of the revived series, and while it’s not the best episode there’ll ever be, it was specifically designed to be a jumping-on point for people who’ve never seen the series, and it does that brilliantly.

Comment by Chris

Oh, I should also mention I own most of the above should you wish to borrow.

Also yes city of death is awesome.

Also: Deadly Assassin. Caves of Androzani. Warriors Gate

Comment by Anthony M

I secretly share your list of things to avoid. Dr Who along with anything with ‘star’ in the title are at the top. World of Warcraft also comes close. My goth housemates are currently in the room next to me having some kind of group sword battle, it makes me want to grieve for the death of their dignity.

Comment by Jamie

Just to add to the classics list… ‘Seeds of doom!’ (note not seeds of death which is a different ep entirely) From the gothic era and is basically a re-telling of ‘The Thing’

Comment by Michael Fitzhywel

Rather than starting with the classic series, a good jumping on point might be the start of the most recent series, with Matt Smith as the Doctor and Karen Gillan as Amy Pond, his companion.

It’s specifically designed to be a jumping on point for people who haven’t seen an episode of the show before, while still being completely awesome. Smith and Gillan are also both very good.

The first episode is called The Eleventh Hour, and you should be able to find it on DVD already at the video store. (If not I’m sure Greg or someone can hook you up with nefariously obtained versions)

The other logical starting place would be the start of the relaunched series with Christopher Eccleston as the Doctor, which again, was purpose-built as a jumping on point for new people. The first episode of the revived series is called “Rose”.

Basically I’d advise you to start with the new series and work your way back from there. The episodes are shorter, mostly 45 minute done-in-one episodes, unlike the older series, which had serialised stories which ran over several episodes. When people quote you titles up there, they’re referring to stories which are nearly 3 hours long in some cases.

If you absolutely just want one episode to watch, and have no intention of watching more, I’d suggest “Blink”, “Dalek”, or “The Girl in the Fireplace”. But seriously- “The Eleventh Hour” is awesome.

Comment by Disco Stu

I’d agree with Disco Stu’s tip about ‘The Eleventh Hour’ – it’s a really good jumping on point. I would like to stress, though, that ‘Rose’, the first new series episode, isn’t very good at all, so I’d avoid that.

I would recommend for your experiment, however, that you dip into the old series as well as the new. Just check the length on the DVD box before you press play…

Comment by David

Thanks gang. I will devote myself to the Doctor and see what happens. I have borrowed post-reboot series 1 & 2 from Nerdy Nerdface (aka my Dear Sister), but hope to get through those (or at least some of those) fairly quickly so that I can venture back in time to the days of Scarf Dude etc before The Professor.

If the worst happens, and I become a fan, I want you all to remember me as I was.

Comment by Amy

As a nerd, and your #1 Westralian fan, may I say, you have nothing but Win ahead of you with the good Dr Who!
Oh, and your profile pic is one of the best I’ve seen 🙂

Comment by drej08

Thanks Marc! The research has stalled somewhat (I am hoping that the fact that I know have Dr Who DVDs in my house will somehow get their contents into my brain by osmosis). However, with Win ahead of me I shall bravely press on 🙂

Comment by Amy

Oh my gosh, how could you not love Dr WHo? I would advise watching the newer ones, though, with David Tennant or Matt Smith as the doctor. I liek those ones a great deal. 🙂

Comment by Anna Lowery

i know dr. who is one of the best t.v show out there

Comment by tc to tb

Just to necro an old blog..

Umm just wanted to say thanks for the memories of watching ABC back when I was wee lad. Widget, Captain Planet etc all on the nightly agenda – although I also went for Dr Who. Those haunting memories (for me it was Ocean Vampires) just bring up those nostalgic memories.

Oh if you don’t like watching Dr Who, then don’t! I love it, but it’s not for everyone.

Comment by Andy

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